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Oak Tree Bereavement Center
1500 Perez Drive  •  PO Box #1827  •  Pacifica, CA 94044 415-806-7169  •
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Winter Solstice 2007 Healing Ceremony, Dec. 22, 1:15 p.m.,
Linda Mar Beach, Pacifica
Pacifica Pelicans
"We mourn, we feel angry, we want to know what to do." These are just a few of the responses to the fact that 58,000 gallons of crude oil spilled into our Bay and along our beaches on November 7th. To date 21,000 birds have died because of the oil spill.
Oak Tree Bereavement Center along with the Pacifica Beach Coalition will hold a Winter Solstice 2007 Healing Ceremony at Linda Mar Beach on December 22nd. We will gather at the Linda Mar Beach at 1:15 p.m.
Low tide is approximately 1:43 p.m. so that we will be able to stand as a circle on the beach earth. Please join with us and bring your thoughtful intentions to heal the wound to our ocean, birds, beaches and sea mammals. The mourning of our loss began almost immediately. People were still too numb to register anger, but we ran out to the beaches to try to rescue the birds and ocean creatures we could find. That commitment continues as patrols of coastside peoples survey the beaches daily. Even so, a signifying event for all the people who have participated in the cleanings and for those who aren't able to assist but who mourn in their homes and at their work is necessary. A ceremony of healing for the beaches, the birds and the sea animals with the people will be that signifying event.
El Día de los Muertos Celebrated Oct. 12 – Nov. 4 2007
The day of the dead
From Oct. 12 through Nov. 2, 2007, the Pacifica community was invited to place memorial objects on a Day of the Dead altar in St. Edmund's Episcopal Church, located at 1500 Perez Drive in Pacifica.
The celebration was sponsored by the Oaktree Bereavement Center. On Nov. 1 & 2, the hours were extended for viewing, and the altar remained open until the morning of November 4.
Of the many celebrations that American’s participate in, a celebration of our dead loved ones is most rare. Yes we have funerals, yes we have memorials and we also visit our dead loved ones at a gravesite. Still, nothing comes even close to the celebration of our dead as does the celebration for The Day of the Dead — a holiday celebrated in many parts of the world — typically on Nov. 1 (All Saints' Day) and Nov. 2 (All Souls' Day).
Celebrants approach the Day of the Dead with joy. Although it occurs at the same time as Halloween, the traditional mood is much brighter, with emphasis on celebrating and honoring the lives of the dead, and celebrating the continuation of life. The belief is that death is not the end but rather the beginning of a new phase in life.
To fully experience in this special event, the following ideas of what to bring assisted those wishing to participate:
  • Orange marigolds (in Mexico called Flores de Muerto — "Flowers of the Dead") are placed on the altar. These flowers are thought to attract souls of the dead.

  • Toys are brought for dead children (los angelitos, or little angels), and bottles of tequila for adults. Families can also offer memorabilia such as pictures, crosses, candles, buttons, small trinkets, and the deceased's
    favorite candies.

  • Foods such as candied pumpkin, pan de muerto ("bread of the dead"), a sweet egg bread made in various shapes, from plain rounds to skulls and rabbits, often decorated with white frosting to look like twisted bones.
A common symbol of the holiday is the skull (calavera), which celebrants represent in masks, called calacas (term for "skeleton"), and foods such as candied sugar skulls with the name of the dead loved one on the forehead. Sugar skulls are gifts that can be given to both the living and the dead.
Traditionally, families spend some time around the altar praying and telling anecdotes about the deceased. In some locations, celebrants wear shells on their clothing so when they dance the dead will wake up because of
the noise.
The Oaktree Bereavement Center plans to sponsor this celebration again next year. We hope you will join with us in the celebration then.
El dia de los muertos altar